Tibetan language Translator Training Program

Melanie Slomka, a Translator Training Program Graduate

A Few months have passed since Melanie Slomka, from Paris, completed the Translator Training Program at Rangjung Yeshe Institute.  When classes finished in May, she went straight back to Paris to meet her root guru, Sogyal Rinpoche and to spend some time with family and friends before going back to north India to start teaching westerners at a Monastery there. Melanie and her boyfriend then spent about 10 days learning how to make didgeridoos, one of Melanie’s interests. She says, 

“I knew that the next 5 months I would be in a monastery, so I tried to enjoy my holidays as much as possible!”

 Now, she has taken the step from student to teacher and is guiding a group of Westerners in colloquial Tibetan and translating philosophy teachings from a Khenpo into English. The program is located in Namdroling Monastery in south India and is run by Rigpa. She says that she thinks the Translator Training Program at Rangjung Yeshe Institute has given her the confidence, fluency and skills in spoken Tibetan that she was lacking before and the ability to translate simple teachings to an audience. At Rangjung Yeshe Institute we had different teachers for each class she says, 

“but here I’m the only one supervising the whole thing, which is a bit challenging sometimes. I’m correcting the students in the morning when they translate, I teach the colloquial grammar class, I do the listening comprehension session, I give tests, and I make sure the tutors are doing their job.”

Apart from running the program for western students, Melanie is also attending classes with the nuns. Melanie feels that it has been very special to have class with some of the nuns who are teaching at Namdroling Nunnery. In international study programs within Tibetan Buddhism, it is much more common that the teacher is male, a Khenpo or a Lopon, but Melanie hopes that this will change in the future. As she explains, 

I really hope that western Shedras all over the world will now invite more and more nuns to teach, as it really feels unbalanced the way it is. More female teachers would also attract more female students, as they will feel more comfortable and inspired. I am sure that when these nuns begin to teach Tibetan lay people and Westerners, everybody, men and women, will feel as inspired as I am now.”

~ Moa Brattwall from Sweden

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